When you think of parks and Perth, you generally think of places like Kings Park huge surrounds or the more intimate Hyde Park. However, just a short drive out of town you can visit one of the most spectacularly manicured gardens in the state, if not the country. Araluen Botanic Park is open every day of the year, and features an incredible array of exotic plants, landscaped to peaceful perfection and a must-visit during wildflower season.
What Is It:
Araluen Botanic Park spent much of its early life through the 20th century as a holiday camp for businessman JJ Simons’ Young Australia League. Running from 1929, it was sold in 1985 before the Araluen Botanic Park Foundation convinced the State Government to purchase it in 1990. Since then the ABPF and the Government have been revitalising the 59 hectares of valley into a stunning botanic garden, filled with exotic plant and flower species that dazzle year-round.
Where Is It:
Araluen Botanic Park is nestled in a valley on the Darling Ranges in Roleystone, about 45 minutes southeast of Perth. It’s fairly windy drive into the Ranges, but it’s well signed once you get to Croyden Rd (which terminates at the park).
What To Do:
Put on your walking shoes, pack a picnic, grab the camera and get ready to wander! As mentioned above it covers a fair amount of land, with a plethora of pathways, recreational areas, flowing streams, natural scenery and more to explore.
There are picnic and BBQ facilities throughout, although if you forget to pack something the Chalet Healy Tea Rooms offer some great options for a bite to eat. The Roundhouse Gift Shop also has plenty of options for some take-home keepsakes.
The park is kept in wonderful condition year-round, and gets very popular at this time of year when the wildflowers are on show. From mid-August to October it’s also tulip season, with tens of thousands of tulips on display, it’s a sight to behold.
Gates open at 9am, with last entry at 5pm, and there is an entry fee to help upkeep of the gardens – head here for a full breakdown.
What Not To Do:
Bring your pup – There are no domestic pets allowed in the park unfortunately! (Here’s a list of 10 around Perth if you’ve got a furry friend to bring.)
Stray from the path – Visitors should keep to marked walkways and paths due to the delicate nature of not only the greenery, but the steps and water features.
Pick your own – It can be tempting to nab a few little natural keepsakes of your own, but to keep it clean and pristine you really shouldn’t.
If you don’t mind hitting the greens, Araluen’s Public Golf Course is just around the corner and one of WA’s most scenic. If you’re looking for a little more than the relatively tame paths around Araluen, there are some incredible bushwalks all within a short drive.
Cover photo by Araluen Botanic Park